Superintendent’s Memo #226-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

September 4, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Data Collection for National Board Certification Teacher Incentive Awards

The purpose of this memorandum is to request the submission of the National Board Certification Incentive Award (NBCIA) collection for the 2015-2016 school year.  This collection requires verification of teachers employed by Virginia school divisions who are eligible for the NBCIA.

The Virginia General Assembly, in the 2015 Session Virginia Acts of Assembly, Chapter 665, appropriated funds to pay incentive awards for the 2015-2016 school year for individuals who meet the criteria established by the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE).  On June 28, 2012, the VBOE approved the Guidelines for Distributing National Board Certification Incentive Awards. Below are the criteria for awarding incentive funds to eligible teachers.

  1. An individual seeking a National Board Certification Incentive Award must:

    1. hold an active National Board Certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and be employed as a teacher in a public school in Virginia on September 30 of the current school year with at least 50 percent of the regular school day engaged in direct instruction with students; and

    2. be a teacher holding an active five-year renewable license issued by the Virginia Board of Education.

  2. An individual who holds an active National Board Certificate issued by the NBPTS and is assigned as a building administrator, a supervisor in a central office position, or a teacher who is teaching less than 50 percent of the regular school day shall be excluded from the incentive awards.

  3. The teacher’s employment shall be verified annually by the division superintendent or designee pursuant to the Appropriation Act.

An initial award not to exceed $5,000 and continuing awards not to exceed $2,500 will be awarded to eligible teachers subject to available funding.  An individual will not receive an initial award and a continuing award in the same year.  For those individuals who receive notification that they achieved National Board Certification while teaching in another state, no initial award will be granted.  These individuals will be eligible for the continuing award, contingent upon available funding, for the life of the active certificate provided the individual continues to meet the eligibility criteria described above.

In accordance with the VBOE guidelines, the procedure for disbursement of funds if the program is not fully funded shall be based on a 2:1 ratio.  (The initial award would be twice that of the continuing award.)

The NBCIA application, accessible from the Virginia Department of Education’s Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) portal, will be used to collect information on teachers from Virginia public school divisions who meet the eligibility requirements for a NBCIA.  Each school division has an SSWS account manager who can provide your designated national board program coordinator or human resources staff access to this application.  Instructions for entering and submitting the data are available online as part of the SSWS-NBCIA application.  Individual teachers are no longer requested to submit employment verification forms to the VDOE.

Please submit only the names of teachers who possess an active National Board Certificate.  A teacher must possess an initial National Board Certificate or a renewed National Board Certificate to be eligible for the incentive award.  The certification status of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) can be determined by checking the NBCT Directory on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Web site.  In addition, please make sure that teachers hired from outside of Virginia submit a copy of their NBCT certificate to Ms. Eleanor Joyce, coordinator for National Board Certification, Division of Teacher Education and Licensure, by fax at (804) 530-4510 or by mail.  Teachers must have achieved National Board Certification while employed by a public school in Virginia to be eligible for the initial $5,000 award.

For the 2015-2016 data collection, data must be submitted by the school division via the SSWS-NBCIA application by Thursday, October 15, 2015.  Once you have completed and verified your NBCIA data submission, print the NBCIA Verification Report, including the list of NBCT, and then fax the signed verification report and list to Ms. Joyce at (804) 530-4510, by October 15.  Note that school divisions that do not employ any teachers eligible to receive the incentive award still need to submit a verification report and signed affidavit to the VDOE.  In this case, the verification report will display a statement indicating that “There are no eligible teachers reported for this collection cycle.”

Meeting the established submission timelines and ensuring that all teacher information is complete and accurate are critically important.  The calculation and distribution of incentive awards will be based on the information collected through this process.  All NBCT eligible for the incentive award must be identified through this process.  Funds may not be available to grant awards to individuals who are identified after the collection window has closed.

Funds for payment of teacher incentive awards will be electronically transferred from the VDOE to school divisions on or before Thursday, December 31, 2015, for distribution to eligible teachers.  School divisions will be responsible for making the incentive award payments to their NBCT.  The awards are taxable to the recipient and the school division assumes responsibility for ensuring all taxes are remitted.

Questions regarding National Board Certification incentives may be directed to Ms. Joyce at Eleanor.Joyce@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 692-0172 or Dr. Kendra Crump, director of licensure and school leadership, at Kendra.Crump@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 371-2471.

SRS/ebj